You will have noticed that in 2021 I am starting each Bunker Briefing with a quote. Some may be from strategists such as Sun Tzu, some from famous military and political personalities, and some just to add a little humour.
Despite moving into a New Year what has not been left behind is COVID-19. In the first two days of January the United Kingdom hit the most new cases in a 24-hour period on record, 57,725. On 2 January the US had over 258,800 new confirmed cases with a death toll over 330,000. To date on 3 January there have been over 84.6 million cases worldwide with over 1.8 million deaths. The good news is that vaccines are being approved globally and the herculean task or rolling them out to the general population has begun – although this is likely to take months at best and probably a lot longer for anything approaching global coverage.
In terms of conflict and security, existing campaigns and tensions have rolled into the new year, from the current high alert between Iranian and other regional forces including the US on the anniversary of the killing of General Qasem Soleiman, to ongoing operations against Daesh in the Middle East. The Yemen war continues as do counter terrorist operations against numerous groups in Africa including Boko Haram and Daesh among others. India and China are not making progress in the serious border dispute around Kashmir.
In Europe, the stand-off in Ukraine continues and in northern Europe NATO and the Scandinavian states are still concerned about Russian intentions towards Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Afghanistan awaits without great expectations of the results of the Peace Talks with the Taliban, now given less incentive to compromise following US President Donald Trump’s unconditional decision to further scale back US troops in the country – without reference to allies or the Afghan politicians.
The Chinese territorial advance into the South and East China Seas looks set to continue with Taiwan anxious about China’s attempts to isolate it and, potentially, absorb it ‘Hong Kong style’ into the mainland despite any hollow promises that have or may be made. China will also continue to build and modernise its forces.
And of course despite President Trump’s meetings with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, very little has strategically changed in the threat to South Korea and strategically.
Expect to hear a growing number of developments in space systems and deployments, artificial intelligence, big data management and networking, as well as offensive and defensive cyber.
Happy New Year.
PRESIDENT PUTIN AND GENERAL SHOIGU SET RUSSIAN DEFENCE BOARD MODERNISATION AND UPGRADE CHALLENGES FOR 2021.
On 21 December, Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in the annual expanded meeting of the board of the Russian Defence Ministry, staged at the National Defense Management Centre in Moscow.
Putin laid down five core challenges for the board to meet going forward:
1) To maintain a high combat readiness of nuclear force triad to ensure national security and strategic parity. He referred to a document entitled ‘On the Fundamentals of State Policy in the Field of Nuclear Deterrence’ which was adopted in 2020.
2) To strengthen the potential of non-nuclear deterrent forces, primarily precision weapons.
3) The re-equipping of the army and navy with modern weapons and equipment. Putin added that, like the strategic forces, there should be no analogue equipment in the Russian military.”
4) The development of military science, “not only study the experience of modern armed conflicts and local wars, but also make forecasts for the future, including taking into account the appearance in the armies of a number of foreign states of weapons based on new physical principles.”
5) Combat training should “actively master ‘run in’ weapons and equipment with elements of artificial intelligence…including robotic complexes, unmanned aerial vehicles, automated control systems. Such a weapon significantly increases the potential of units and formations, and not only today, but also in the near future will largely determine the outcome of the battle. In addition, in the course of the upcoming West-2021 exercise, new approaches to the use of the regional grouping of the Union State should be worked out.”
Minister of Defence and General of the Army Sergei Shoigu also addressed the defence board summarising a number of priority tasks that lay ahead in 2021. He stated that the combat capabilities for the Russian Armed Forces had been improved by 13 percent in 2020, and “the development of a plan for the defence of the Russian Federation for 2021-2025” had been completed and approved.
Shoigu outlined the priority tasks facing the board in 2021. These included:
1) Rearmament. “Put 13 launchers with Yars and Avangard intercontinental ballistic missiles on combat alert in the Strategic Missile Forces. To complete the construction of infrastructure for the Yars and Avangard complexes in Kozelsk, Yasny, Uzhur, Novosibirsk, Yoshkar-Ola. To equip the Severo-Yenisei test site near the settlement for flight tests of the Sarmat missile system. Start state tests of the modernised Tu-160 aircraft. Adopt into the (Naval) Fleet two nuclear-powered submarines of the Borei-A project, Prince Oleg and Generalissimo Suvorov, equipped with Bulava ballistic missiles.”
2) Supply 500+ modern armoured combat vehicles to ground, airborne and naval coastal forces. Form an anti-aircraft missile brigade in the Southern Military District. Supply 100+ new and modernised aircraft to the Air Force and Naval aviation. Radars: “complete the construction of a factory-readiness radar station in Vorkuta and put it on experimental alert duty. To begin work on the construction of the Yakhroma radar station in Sevastopol and individual over-the-horizon air target detection units in Kaliningrad and Zeya.” Add four submarines, six surface ships, 22 boats and a support vessel into the Navy.
3) “Prepare and conduct joint strategic exercises ‘West-2021’ with the Armed Forces of Russia and Belarus. Hold the Army-2021 international military-technical forum.”
NATO JETS ‘SCRAMBLED’ 400 TIMES IN 2020
The air forces of NATO member states in Europe scrambled over 400 times in 2020 to intercept unknown aircraft heading for Alliance airspace, 87 percent (around 350) of which were for Russian military aircraft.
According to a NATO statement: “Russian military aircraft often do not transmit a transponder code indicating their position and altitude, do not file a flight plan, or do not communicate with air traffic controllers, posing a potential risk to civilian airliners.”
“In recent years, we have seen an increased level of Russian military air activity close to the Alliance’s borders,” said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu. These borders are protected by around 40 air surveillance radars and reporting hubs, together with around 60 quick response NATO jets, 365 days a year.
NATO states that it has provided a Baltic Air Policing mission for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania since all three nations joined the Alliance in 2004. NATO also provides air policing in the Western Balkans who do not have their own fighters: Albania, Slovenia, and Montenegro.
In addition to sovereign capabilities, NATO has two air operations centres – one in Germany, covering northern Europe, and one in Spain covering the south – both of which monitor military and civil air movements across Europe.
US MAJOR ARMS SALES (Defence Security Cooperation Agency – DSCA).
29 December, 2020 – Egypt. The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt of a Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) System for Head-of-State Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $104 million.
29 December, 2020 – Kuwait. The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait of AH-64E Apache Helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $4.0 billion.
29 December, 2020 – Saudi Arabia. The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I) Munitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $290 million.
29 December, 2020 – Egypt. The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt of Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $65.6 million.
29 December, 2020 – Kuwait. The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait of System Spares for Patriot Configuration 3+ and related equipment for an estimated cost of $200 million.
23 December, 2020 – Kazakhstan. The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kazakhstan of King Air B300ER Scorpion Aircraft with Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Mission Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $128.1 million.
US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 21 December – 30 December and Foreign Military Sales contracts.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is awarded a $903 million modification contract that procures long lead materials, parts, components and support necessary to maintain on-time production and delivery of 133 Lot 16 F-35 aircraft for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, non-US Department of Defense (DoD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $270 million; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $278 million; non-US DoD participant funds in the amount of $227 million; and FMS funds in the amount of $126 million will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Al Larson Boat Shop; Epsilon Systems Solutions; and Marine Group Boat Works, are each awarded IDIQ multiple award contracts with an overall maximum ceiling value of $144 million. These multiple award contracts provide marine boatyard services (Lot II) including specific modifications, upgrades, service life extension and repairs to non-commissioned boats, craft, lighterage, service crafts and ancillary support equipment (brows platforms, paint floats, camel separators, and loading ramps) that are greater than or equal to 15 meters/50 feet in length up to 60 meters/200 feet in length by Navy hull designation or length overall (LOA), and can be transported via roadway by a trailer, or via waterway. Lot II also provides services for boats, craft, lighterage or service craft less than 15 meters/50 feet in length (by Navy hull designation or LOA), that must be delivered on their bottom via waterway. These three companies will have an opportunity to compete for individual delivery orders. The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center is the contracting activity.
General Electric Aviation has received a $111 million modification contract that procures 20 T408-GE-400 turboshaft engines, peculiar support equipment, and associated engine, programmatic and logistics services in support of CH-53K Lot 4 low rate initial production and spares. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Bell Boeing Joint Project Office has received an $81 million order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement for continued non-recurring engineering support as well as the recurring procurement of kits and installs in support of the forced retrofit fleet implementation and installation of nacelle improvements and the conversion area harness onto the CV-22 aircraft for the Air Force. This order provides engineering, production, supportability, and management support necessary to facilitate the incorporation of the improved nacelles into the fleet via forced retrofit at the depot level of maintenance for previously delivered V-22 aircraft in support of phase two of the nacelle improvements effort. Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $4 million; fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $10 million; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $49 million; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $12 million; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $3 million will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
The Bell Boeing Joint Project Office is also awarded a $7 million modification contract that adds new scope related to the update of common configuration readiness and modernisation government furnished V-22 aircraft logbooks and configuration management auto log-sets in the naval aviation logistics command management information system optimised organisational maintenance activity and logistics support representative support. This modification also provides funding for 305 flight director panels, 151 control display units, 478 enhanced standby flight indictor programmable read only memory units, as well as 45 regulated control units field programmable gate array. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $2,612 will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
US AIR FORCE
Full Spectrum Operations has been awarded a $142 million contract for Eastern Western Operational Communications Services (EWOCS). The contract will support the 45th Space Wing, 30th Space Wing, and Missile Defense Agency in providing communication systems maintenance, operations, and support services for voice, video, data and infrastructure yielding a robust communications capability for a wide range of customers in a dynamic launch environment. The 45th Contracting Squadron is the contracting activity (FA2521-21-D-0003).
Vectrus Systems was awarded an $882 million contract for operation, maintenance, and defense of Army communications. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Northrop Grumman Systems has been awarded a minimum $246 million modification contract to add pricing for the manufacture of B-2 exhaust pipes. Using military service is Air Force. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation.
Kimball & Thompson Produce has received a $165 million IDIQ contract for fresh fruits and vegetables. Using customers are Army, Air Force, and Department of Agriculture schools and reservations. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.
Boeing is awarded a $198 million modification contract that provides for the integration of a ground control station that provides command and control capability in support of the MQ-25 air vehicle for the Navy. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
US SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
General Electric Aviation was awarded a $126 million IDIQ contract to provide life-cycle contractor support for the YT706-GE-700 engine and components in support of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). USSOCOM Headquarters is the contracting activity.
US AIR FORCE
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems has received a $37 million contract for the Japan Global Hawk Program. The contract provides for the procurement of initial spare parts to include modifications to the system engineering and program management tasks required to execute, manage, control, and report on all program activities. This contract is for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Japan and is the result of a sole source acquisition. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.
ModernaUS has received a $1.9 billion modification contract for purchase of an additional 100 million filled drug production doses of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-1273 vaccine utilising Option 1 and acetate efforts on the base and option. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is awarded a $1.2 billion contract that procures recurring logistics services, including ground maintenance activities, action request resolution, depot activation activities, automatic logistics information system operations and maintenance, reliability, maintainability and health management implementation, and support, supply chain management and activities to provide and support pilot and maintainer initial training in support of in-service F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter air systems for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-US Department of Defense (DoD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Air Force) funds in the amount of $100 million; fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $50 million; fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $22 million; fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Air National Guard) funds in the amount of $6 million; non-US DoD participant funds in the amount of $88 million; and FMS funds in the amount of $43 million will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin has received a $101 million modification contract which adds scope to provide sustainment services and outcomes for the United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defense, supporting daily flight operations with the national specific capabilities required at various F-35 operating sites in support of the F-35 Lightning II UK Lightning Air-system National Capability Enterprise. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Northrop Grumman Systems is awarded an $11 million modification contract to exercise an option for operational level spares for Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) Increment One Block One (I1B1) systems. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (85 percent); and the government of Australia (15 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Pfizer was awarded a $2 billion contract for the production of vaccine BNT162b2 in support of the national emergency response to COVID-19. The US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
AITC-Five Domains JV was awarded two contracts, the first for $29 million and the second for $17 million, to provide train, advise, assist and mentor services. Fiscal 2021 Foreign Military Sales (Saudi Arabia) funds in the amount of $29 million were obligated at the time of the award. The US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
US AIR FORCE
Boeing received a $400 million modification contract for B-1 and B-52 bomber engineering services. The Air Force Life Cycle Management is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $28 million contract for follow-on support sustainment of the Republic of Korea Peace Krypton Program. This contract provides for support of the field service representative, program management, core/field engineering, System Depot Support Facility sustainment, technical manuals sustainment and obsolescence management. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to South Korea. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre is the contracting activity.
Spartan Air Academy Iraq has received a $15 million contract for the Iraq T-6A contractor logistics support and training maintenance program. The modification provides for the exercise of an option to extend the term of the contract for the continued services needed in order to effectively maintain and operate a fleet of 15 T-6A training aircraft. Foreign Military Sales funds in the full amount will be obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.
WASHINGTON HEADQUARTERS SERVICES
Armed Forces Services, doing business as Magellan Federal was awarded an IDIQ contract with a maximum amount of $111 million. The Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service (DCPAS) has a requirement to procure Employee Assistance Program (EAP) support services. The principal objective is for the contractor to provide mandatory employee assistant support services to Department of Defense personnel. The contractor shall provide all personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, transportation, tools, materials, supervision and other items and non-personal services necessary to perform EAP and work-life services in support of DCPAS. Washington Headquarters Services is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is awarded a $96 million modification order which exercises options for services associated with aircraft modification efforts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, including modification and reach-back engineering services, support for depots, laser shock peening site support and material support depot site support. Additionally, this modification adds scope for contractor field teams and over and above labor and costs associated with depots outside the continental US in support of air vehicle modification requirements. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $21 million; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $15 million; non-Department of Defense participants funds in the amount of $33 million; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $26 million will be obligated on this award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has also been awarded an $8 million modification order which adds scope to provide program management support to execute the planning, procurement and delivery of initial aircraft spares in support of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy; non-Department of Defense (DOD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers operational aircraft. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $3 million; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $2 million; non-DOD participant funds in the amount of $2 million; and FMS funds in the amount of $1,million will be obligated at time of award The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
General Electric has been awarded a $219 million modification contract which exercises an option to procure 48 F414-GE-400 engines and engine devices in support of the F/A-18 Super Hornet production aircraft for the Navy. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Archer Western Federal JV was awarded a $102 million contract for design-build projects for two operations centers at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The contract also contains six unexercised planned modifications, which if exercised, would increase cumulative contract value to $136 million. These projects design and construct a multi-story administrative and academic instruction facility for II Marine Expeditionary Force and 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade Headquarters, a multi-story administrative facility for 2nd Marine Logistics Group Headquarters, and renovation and construction of a multi-story administrative addition for 2nd Marine Division Headquarters. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics was awarded a $60 million modification IDIQ contract which increases the ceiling and adds scope to procure additional ancillary mission equipment/pilot flight equipment initial spares, including global, base, deployment and afloat spares packages in support of F-35 Lot 14 aircraft deliveries for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, non-Department of Defense participants and Foreign Military Sales customers’ operational aircraft. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
US AIR FORCE
Voly Defense Solutions has been awarded an IDIQ contract with a shared ceiling of $400 million for all subsequent competitively selected delivery orders in support of the Skyborg Vanguard Program. The Skyborg prototyping, experimentation and autonomy development contract will be used to deliver missionized prototypes in support of operational experimentation and develop the first Skyborg air platform with modular hardware and software payloads that will incorporate the Skyborg autonomy core system and enable manned/unmanned teaming. The Air Force Life Cycle Management is the contracting activity (FA8694-21-D-1400).
National Aerospace Solutions has been awarded a $108 million modification contract for test operations and sustainment. This modification provides for test operations, technology development, equipment and facility sustainment, capital improvements and some support services for the Arnold Engineering Development Complex. The overall value of the contract is $1.3 billion. The Air Force Test Center is the contracting activity.
General Electric has received a $20 million IDIQ contract to provide contractor engineering and technical services engine support for Air National Guard and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) partners. Work will be performed in Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Cincinnati, Ohio. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.
Northrop Grumman, doing business as Alliant Techsystems has been awarded a $15 million modification contract for contractor logistic support for the Iraqi Air Force’s Cessna 208 and 172 fleet. Work will be performed in Balad Airbase, Iraq. Foreign Military Sales funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.
ASRC Federal Data Network Technologies received a $249 million contract to support program management activities across the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization program. The US Army Corps of Engineers is the contracting activity.
General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded a $15 million contract for contractor logistics support services for M1A1SA Abrams tanks and M88A1/A2 recovery vehicles. Work will be performed in Camp Taji, Iraq. Fiscal 2020 Foreign Military Sales (Iraq) funds in the amount of $15 million were obligated at the time of the award. The US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
AttainX; Golden IT-JV; OM Group; Stellar Innovations & Solutions; and Yakshna Solutions, are awarded an IDIQ contract with a maximum amount of $151 million to provide full information technology (IT) lifecycle support to Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command’s (NAVFAC) core facilities management, construction management and installation management systems. The work to be performed is IT services and solutions through the performance of broad ranges of services across multiple functional areas, including but are not limited to, systems development lifecycle support, cybersecurity support, business systems operations and support, IT operations management and enterprise, cloud operations/migration/system development, secure infrastructure and analysis and management services. No task orders are being issued at this time. NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission System is awarded a $101 million contract which procures instructor services and associated administrative support including control account managers, functional managers, program managers, security, operational planning, contract, finance and lab support to meet integrated weapons systems and Aegis training requirements for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Work will be performed in Dahlgren, Virginia (35 percent); Moorestown, New Jersey (35 percent); Maizuru (two percent), Sasebo (three percent), and Yokosuka (10 percent), Japan; Sydney, Australia (10 percent); Busan (one percent), Chinhae (one percent), and Jeju Island (one percent), South Korea; and Bergen, Norway (two percent). The Naval Air Warfare Center is the contracting activity.
Raytheon Technologies received a $26 million modification contract to exercise options for the production of the MK54 Lightweight Torpedo MOD 0 and MOD 1 common part kits and spare torpedo components. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (30 percent); and the governments of Belgium, Netherlands and New Zealand (70 percent), under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Raytheon Missiles and Defense received a $9 million modification contract to exercise Option Year Four for design agent engineering and technical support services for the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System, SeaRAM and land-based Phalanx Weapon System. This contract combines purchases for the Army (69 percent); and the governments of United Kingdom, Australia, Greece, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia (31 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $6 million (69 percent); FMS (United Kingdom) funds in the amount of $724,655 (eight percent); FMS (Australia) funds in the amount of $200,000 (two percent); FMS (Taiwan) funds in the amount of $605,000 (six percent); FMS (Japan) funds in the amount of $406,996 (four percent); FMS (New Zealand) funds in the amount of $299,485 (three percent); and FMS (Saudi Arabia) funds in the amount of $784,000 (eight percent), will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.
EVENTS STILL CONFIRMED
No further event confirmations.
No further cancellations advised.